Friday, October 19, 2012

So You're Pregnant and Scared...Let Me Give You Some Advice

Having recently suffered a miscarriage and now finding myself pregnant again it's natural for me to be overcome with worry and anxiety if this pregnancy will also result in a loss.  I know I'm not alone.  I've spent enough time exploring the furthest reaches of the interwebz to know that nearly any one who has suffered a miscarriage is more nervous at their next go around because they are living proof of the worst case scenarios.  These are brave women who had their hearts broken and battled through to fight another day and I applaud them...and myself.

Now this is where the advice part comes in.  I've read hundreds of forums and the advice given to said women is great.  It's wonderful.  But it also kind of sucks and is pretty futile.  Let me expand.

Just relax and try to enjoy it:  Yes, I know I should relax and I know that pregnancy is a miracle and a gift and I should spend more time marveling at the fact that chicken makes me want to toss my cookies and less time pondering if my baby died and I just don't know it yet.  Now if one of these wonderful well wishers could tell me exactly how to go about doing that, that would be just great.  Because when red blood is leaking out of my vagina and I'm 8 weeks pregnant I'm not relaxed and I'm certainly not enjoying it.

Don't Google:  Again, this is smart advice.  Probably the smartest you'll get.  My own doctor advised me to stay away from Dr. Google because you'll find things that will completely mind fuck you.  You'll read stories of women whose baby died at 11.5 weeks and they found out at their 12 week scan after they'd already seen a heartbeat.  You'll read stories about women who went in for their anatomy scan at 20 weeks to be told that their baby died at 17 weeks for no apparent reason.  And, the scariest to me, is you'll read stories of stillborns, a fate I can barely even comprehend before it starts to undo me.  Yes, by all means if you have the will power stay away from google.  I have no will power.  If a cookie is sitting in front of me I will eat it whether I want to or not.  When answers are a click away, I will search for them even if I don't want the answer.

Take it easy:  I have a full time job, a toddler, a husband, friends, and responsibilities.  While I'd like to just sit on the couch with my feet up, on my left side, chugging water, I can't actually do that.  While I can pass off some responsibilities, like exercising, sex, laundry and cleaning, I still have to care for my child and feed my family.  "Taking it easy" should come with a list of instructions for a real life person who can't take off from work to rest.

I think every pregnant woman goes through a time where she is scared because she's already come to love the baby growing inside her.  However, that fear becomes compounded and magnified when you've already lost a baby.  Here is the advice that I read that actually made me feel better.

Surrender: There is absolutely nothing you can do to save a pregnancy that is "bad".  No amount of worry or stress or crying is going to change the fate of a baby who would not survive for whatever reason.  So surrender that worry to God or the Universe or to fate or whatever you believe in.  It won't erase the fear, but it will lessen the burden.

Today I am pregnant: Say that to yourself over and over.  Being pregnant really is a gift and it really is a miraculous time, even if it doesn't feel that way.  We may get lucky enough to be pregnant for 9 months or only for a few short weeks.  If you have no proof that you are not pregnant any more, that you're baby didn't survive, then as far as you're still pregnant.

Visualize: For me it means a lot to visualize myself at different stages of pregnancy.  What will my bump look like at Christmas?  What maternity clothes do I have?  I picture Isabella talking to Mrs. Petrillo in my belly.  It makes it seem more like a reality and less like a dream.

If you're pregnant and scared of a miscarriage you're not alone.  Unfortunately, you are part of a club that you probably hate, but we're all here with you, rooting you on and googling in secret.


Hoping For Hunter said...

One thing that gave me comfort, in addition to the helpful ones you identified, was 'different pregnancy, different experience.' It rings just as true as the fact that your children will also boggle your mind with their differences. :) *hugs*

gardengoatquote said...

I have 9 kids and am part of the club you mention.
Each pregnancy is different as are the resulting children :)

Very hard to be pregnant following a miscarriage your advice is perfect especially the "Don't Google" -or listen to anyone else.

Have had three miscarriages it is not something you ever completely get over. Hang in there "hugs & prayers"

The Garden Goat

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